Attracting Attention

At the moment, I have Cialdini’s new book on the go: Pre-Suasion; the art of making people suggestible to the persuader’s arguments before they’ve even begun their sales pitch proper. I was stuck for a moment, trying to think of what to write about today, but then remembered that the exact chapter I was on, regarding attracting attention, would be perfect.

Cialdini says that three things in particular draw our attention: the sexual, the threatening, and new environments.

For the first two, you should be able to draw instant links to Daygame. For instance, the notion of dressing as an archetype, in particular the rockstar or bad boy, leads the girl to think immediately about sex. When it comes to threat, the archetype provides that, as well as an abrupt front stop. As I was winging with Mazz yesterday, I found myself repeating the phrase “you have to weaponise her natural reaction to adrenaline” i.e. the tend and befriend/please and appease reaction. The two factors are going to instantly draw her attention, but you probably knew that already.

What was interesting to me was that Cialdini says that sexual advertising is more effective when the viewer is encouraged to stand out from the crowd (anonymous adventure sex), but that threatening advertising is more effective when the viewer is encouraged to stick to the herd. For the latter, the example he gives is that Ford adverts showcasing a car model’s safety were more successful when combined with the statement that it was America’s favourite, or something similar.

The third attractor of attention was a new environment. The book gives a couple of examples. The first is Pavlov’s dogs, and how when a new experimenter entered the room that the dog would forget their salivating response. This was because their brains had to process a new environment and new participants in that environment. Thus they forgot the salivating response. The other example he gives is one much more common, one we experience every day: walking into a room and forgetting what we went in there for. The new environment overwhelms our brains. Advertisers can exploit this response in TV ads, for example, by putting features of their products which they want to draw attention to, immediately after cuts.

I started to think about how to apply all three of these on the street, and I had an idea. When you approach, the area is much more likely to be busy, thus allowing “the threatening” to attract attention. However, this detracts from “the sexual”, so do a mini-bounce to the side of the street where it is quieter. The hidden gem is that she’s now in a new environment, meaning that her past concerns will be overwhelmed by the new stimulus. All her attention is on you and then bam! you use a big sexual spike. I’ll see how that works over the next two weeks.

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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